Sunday, February 28, 2010

Back in Bangkok

We made it back to Thailand safe and sound on Sunday night Bangkok time. We made it through customs, stopped by the grocery store, and still made it home by around 11:00 PM. By the time we found the essentials, and got settled down for the night it was around 12:30 AM. Both Tom and I were able to sleep all night without waking up and right now we are feeling good.

Thanks to all of you who prayed as we traveled. We had a safe, uneventful flight, which is always a plus. No trouble getting through customs in Bangkok and hopefully we will have our days and nights turned back around in record time. Carolyn, however did not fare as well. She is fairly wrecked and exhausted. Please pray for her as this transitioning back and forth half way around the world usually takes a heavy toll on her immune system.

The first thing I noticed upon arriving back was the poor air quality. All of us are having breathing difficulties, which is normal for Bangkok. We are now unpacking our totes...actually Tom is unpacking and I am sitting here blogging and drinking coffee. First things first, right? Pook had the air conditioners turned on and the houses cleaned and that was a real blessing. Coming home to a clean, cool house is incredibly helpful to the tired mind and exhausted body.

For those of you who may have forgotten, Bangkok time is exactly 13 hours ahead of Central Time right now since Texas is on Daylight Savings Time. So when it is 10:00 o'clock in the morning in Texas, it is 11:00 o'clock at night here. This is a gentle reminder to those of you who might try and call us. Three o'clock in your afternoon is not a good time for us. We will be sound asleep and grumpy if we answer the phone at that time.

I will have to remember the same thing if I call my daughter in Lithuania. I am now 8 hours ahead of her and not 4 or 5 hours behind. She probably wouldn't appreciate a middle of the night call from me either.

Please keep us in your prayers as we begin preparations for our move to the city of Chiang Mai. Pook has already done a lot of work here in packing up all of the books of which there are many. I will begin immediately packing and sorting thru the things we are taking and those that we will be giving away. Pook was helpful in not watering the plants, so they all died. Since I wasn't taking them with me anyway it worked out perfect. God is in the little things, too.

Right now, as I sit here at my desk, it seems like we never left here 5 months ago. Our lives are truly like a vapor that appear for a little time and then pass away. Our days are flying by swiftly and there is much work left to do. Pray that our strength holds and that we are able to finish the job that the Lord gave us to do. To all of you that we left behind, we love you and we miss you. Leaving all of you is the hardest part of being here.

Monday, February 22, 2010


For any of you who have packed up for a move overseas, you will understand this. I have hit a "stress crisis." I have 5 days left to finish packing, get the house in order, and get my head organized. Getting my head in order is the hard part. Everything else is easy. Saying goodbye to friends ranks fairly close to somebody dying. Sunday was hard, but Wednesday night will be harder. Pray for me that my physical strength will hold out and that Tom, Carolyn nor I get sick at the last minute.

We want to thank all of you who are praying. I will try to post another update before we actually leave the country, but if not, church family, know that we love you and will miss you all very much. Thank you for all the prayers, love and support. We will be praying for all of you also.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Last Meeting Before Leaving

Tom and I are headed to Temple, Texas for a missions Conference. This will be our last meeting before leaving the country on Saturday, Feb. 27th. We are looking forward to this meeting and for a time of fellowship with this great church.

I have officially hit panic mode in the quest for leaving the country. I have all the big stuff done, but the little things are the things that drive you crazy. Making decisions about trivial things drives me crazy. Things like "Should I take this or that back with me this time or get it next time through." We are limited to 100 pounds of stuff each. That is 2 - 50 pound bags each. Two of those bags carry nothing but computers, cameras, hard drives, our office and paperwork. That leaves only one bag each for clothes and personal items. Personal items include all our vitamins and supplements that we take and that is usually quite a big chunk of space. As you may be able to discern, we have very little room for clothes.

Another thing is getting the house ready to be "in storage." We have friends staying in the house for a little while and then it will be empty. Fortunately, we have folks to watch over it for us in our absence, but we still have to show people where everything is and what to do while the house is empty. Also, after we leave we have somebody clean the house because on leaving day there is not time to tidy up.

Myra Noel, who has been house sitting for us the last few years is buying her own house. I am so excited for her. Right now the negotiations are going and we are praying that it is settled in the next few days. The house is beautiful and in perfect move-in ready state. Please pray with us that it passes all the inspections for FHA approval. If it passes inspections, she should close on it quickly.

I will let you know in a few days how the meetings went. I hope to be able to post some good news shortly. Pray for this meeting, it could be crucial to the next steps in our ministry in Thailand. This church is heavily involved with us on several levels and we own them a great debt of thanks. Also you must remember that no work for Christ goes unchallenged by Satan. He is a relentless foe. Pray.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Snow in Texas...A Perspective

I am writing this blog as I look out the window at the melting snow. It was an amazing winter for us to be in Texas. We haven't seen snow here for years and it was truly enjoyable. We got a little over 12 inches, which was a record for Fort Worth for snowfall in a single day. When we lived in Colorado, two or three feet of snow was normal, but depending on where you are located the definition of "normal" changes.

And so it is with living in another country. What is normal here would be not only shocking somewhere else, but maybe even critically life threatening. When the cool season in Thailand hits the temperatures can drop to the high 60's and low 70's. Thai people wear heavy coats, even parkas in these temperatures. There have been a few instances of Thai people dying from exposure if rain mixes with 70 degree temperatures. Our Hmong brethren suffered in these conditions during the last cool season in the refugee camp. We struggled to get blankets and warm clothing to them in time for their "winter." Yes, perspective is everything. When Thai people are wearing coats, our team is in short sleeves and thankful for the cool.

Right now it is exactly 2 weeks till we leave to go back to Thailand and one of the things that I really dread is the heat. Another thing that I am not looking forward to is packing up 2 apartments and our large office and getting ready to move. I don't like packing.

However, I am very much looking forward to living in Chiang Mai. Every person who has ever been on our team like Chiang Mai much better than Bangkok. Compared to Bangkok, Chiang Mai is a small town. If you can call a city of 3 million small. But compared to the 13 million people who live in Bangkok, it has a small town feel. Like I all goes back to perspective.

Neither Tom nor I were able to see any of our family members this trip home. Sometimes we just can't work things out for a myriad of reasons. We are hoping to return to the United States this summer. We have a wedding to attend and we hope to see our daughter and her family if they get to come home for their first furlough in more than 5 years. Hopefully we will be able to purchase a dependable vehicle and maybe then we will be able to see our extended family. Until then, we are thankful for email, facebook and other means of communication that modern missionaries are privileged to have. The problems of today's missionaries compared to the problems that the missionaries of yesteryear's all a matter of perspective.